Headteacher: Anna Moss

0121 445 1622

Red Class

Red Class Friday Fanfare 20.01.23


Hello Red Class Families,

This week, the children designed their finger sandwiches. First, we looked at the journey of bread from the wheat in the fields all the way through to the rolls in the bakery. We then looked at different parts of a sandwich by taking them apart and eating them! Finally, the children taste tested fillings before designing the sandwich they will make for their special guest next week.

As well as their Design Technology (DT) work, the children discovered new digraphs including ‘oo’ (moon), ‘oo’ (book), ‘ar’ (far) and ‘or’ (born). When reading words with the digraph ‘oo’, always check both sounds to see which one makes sense. We also read new tricky words: was, you, they. Please continue to read your eBooks at home.

oo – zoom to the moon

oo – hook a book

ar- march in the dark

or – born with a horn

Handwriting lessons focused on ‘d’, ‘g’ and ‘q’ using the cursive script. These letters can be found in the handwriting pack with a formation phrase for each letter. Remember to work ‘big’ at home and try using different media as this will help to motivate the children to write. The children enjoyed water painting using a paintbrush and a chalkboard. This is a great activity for the garden when the weather improves.

In Maths, we continued with our focus on teen numbers using a range of concrete apparatus including dice, egg boxes, Numicon and the Fabacus. Every day we practise our mental maths skills and at home time we like to play ‘Guess my Number’. If you’d like to play this game at home, click the link to find the ‘Paint the Squares’ game: Paint the Squares - Interactive Number Charts (topmarks.co.uk) Select the 1-20 chart. Choose a number and encourage your child to ask questions about it e.g. Is it greater than 4? Is it double 3? Is it fewer than 5? Is it a teen number? As you answer each question, splat the squares until you’re left with the right answer.

On our way to Forest School, as our boots crunched along the frozen grass, we noticed the signs of winter. We collected frozen leaves and watched how they changed in the warmth of our gloves. After a quick warm up game to test our listening skills, the children went into the forest to play. We used hammers and mallets to make a fairy garden with sticks. Over the next couple of weeks, all the children will have the opportunity to use tools in small groups. Well done children for keeping safe and following our tool rules.

We look forward to seeing our guests for afternoon tea next week. Please wait by the benches just outside the School Room and the children will show you to your table. Thank you for your donations so far.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend.

Best wishes,

Mrs Webb and Team Red Class xxx

Red Class Friday Fanfare 13.01.23


Hello Red Class Families,

This week, the children discovered vowel digraphs ‘ai’ (rain), ‘ee’ (sheep), ‘oa’ (coat) and the trigraph ‘igh’ (light). We used catchphrases to remember them.

ai – tail in the rain

ee – sheep in a jeep

oa – soap that goat

igh – light in the night

Handwriting lessons focused on ‘c’, ‘o’ and ‘a’ using the cursive script. Handwriting packs were sent home on Thursday to support handwriting at home. We’re in the very early stages of writing so the children are still learning how to use the ‘round and back’ action. Next week, we will recap ‘c’, ‘o’ and ‘a’ and introduce ‘d’, ‘g’ and ‘q’ as they all start the same way.

In Maths, we used concrete apparatus to make some teen numbers (11, 12, 13 and 14). We talked about place value with teen numbers containing a ten and ones. We also used the ‘power of 5’ and ‘power of 10’ to make them quickly.

In Art lessons, we explored textiles. The children persevered to cut, stick and arrange different textiles in their art sketchbooks before learning how to dip dye a cotton square using food colouring. Our table runners are ready for afternoon tea!

Red Class Afternoon Tea

Hopefully, in your child’s bookbag, you will find an invitation to Red Class Afternoon Tea. As time is an abstract concept for little ones, the children have been asking me every day if it’s time for afternoon tea!

Each animal group will host their afternoon tea on the stated day and time in the School Room. We’ve invited one guest as the School Room is quite cosy! We also thought it would be nice for the children to have some 1 to 1 time with their special visitor! We’re hoping most children can keep to the day/time provided but we also understand some families may have commitments during the 1.40pm slot. Please just let me know and I will see what I can do. Please email the office if your visiting adult has any dietary requirements or allergies.

Next week, we’ll be taste-testing, designing and making finger sandwiches. So, another busy week for Red Class!

Best wishes,

Mrs Webb and Team Red Class xxx

Friday Fanfare 06.01.23


Hello Red Class Families,

Happy New Year and welcome back to the Friday Fanfare! This week, we jumped straight into our new topic, ‘Building a Business’. Through Dilemma-Based Learning, the children listened to a story about a family of mice with leftover party food. They considered different points of view including putting the food in the fridge or cupboard and putting it in the bin. Later on, the children met Mrs Hedgehog who needed some help to feed her family. We started to think about food banks and how they help people. Some children shared their experiences of donating to food banks during the Christmas period. Throughout the morning, the children worked with their new learning partner to share opinions, give reasons for their answers and to make decisions. By the end of the morning, most children decided the family should give their party food to Mrs Hedgehog.

Through our Dilemma-Based Learning we decided to raise money for a local food bank by setting up a business. We’ve decided to offer afternoon tea during the week beginning 23rd January. The children will send home an invitation for one lucky relative to visit the School Room for afternoon tea. More information will follow including the exact day and time for your child.

During the next few weeks our learning will help us to prepare for afternoon tea. For example, today we made mats for the tables during handwriting. In Art lessons, we will learn how to dye textiles to make a runner for the tables and in Design Technology we will design and make the finger sandwiches. It’s going to be a busy few weeks!

In Phonics, we recapped some of the tricky digraphs from last term including ‘th’ and ‘sh’ and read words with these digraphs. Next week, we will begin to learn new phonemes using vowel digraphs e.g. ‘ai’ in rain. During group reading sessions, we recapped the book from the last week of term. New eBooks will be available next Friday. If you have a copy of ‘Fix That Bell!’ at home with missing pages, please return it to school with a post-it or email the office to let us know.

At Forest School (we stayed on site for Forest School today), we discovered that birds struggle to find food during the winter months, so we decided to make birdfeeders. We also looked closely at a nest and talked about how it was made. Try spotting birds in your garden or at the park this weekend. How many birds can you name?

Next week, we will begin to form cursive letters, starting with ‘c’, ‘o’ and ‘a’. I’ve outlined some top tips to support handwriting in the class newsletter. One tip is to use a formation phrase. This is a short phrase to say to the children as they write. The phrase is linked to the picture we associate with each letter. Next week, I will send home a formation phrase sheet where you will be able to see the cursive letter, the linked picture and the formation phrase. Every week in the blog, I will let you know which letters to focus on.

Just a reminder to contact Cool Milk if you would like your child to access milk after they turn 5. All children remain on the milk list if they’re still 4.

Best wishes for a lovely weekend,

Mrs Webb and Team Red Class xxx

P.S. We like to show and tell learning and achievements from home and any projects the children have been working on. Just pop the certificate or piece of work into the book bag or send a photo into the office. Please keep toys safe at home. We saw a superb Forky today!

Red Class Christmas Fanfare 16.12.22


Hello Red Class Families,

Our last day was full of fun and laughter with a pantomime, party games and celebration assembly. In fact, it’s been a week of Christmas activities with our Christmas Show and a delicious Christmas dinner (thank you Mrs Barker and Mrs Miles). We’ve listened to carols every day and discovered how people celebrate the festival of Christmas.

Towards the end of term, especially near Christmas, the children become incredibly tired and give their every effort at school meaning their emotional ‘cup’ runs empty by home time. You might have seen a few grumpy or tearful faces this week or maybe you’ve had a few extra cuddles. Their behaviour is simply saying, “I’m tired and I’m ready for a break”. Well done little ones, you’ve fought bugs galore and demonstrated such resilience.

On Monday, we popped two reading books into every child’s bag to share during the holidays and new eBooks are available too. In January, we will begin a new topic, ‘Building a Business’ and we’ll continue our writing adventures as we learn to form letters using the cursive script. If you want to make a start during the holidays, Mrs Moss has made a number of videos on our You Tube channel showing letter formation. We always start with the curly caterpillar letters: c, o, a, d, g, q. Writing your name with cursive letters would be useful holiday homework too. Remember your tripod grip when you hold your pencil. If you’d like some holiday Maths homework, then please count forward and back to 5, then 10 and 20. Try 1 more and 1 less tennis to 10 using your hand to hit the ‘ball’ and work on your positional language. Perhaps, choose one decoration on your Christmas tree as a starting point and then find another above, below, between, to the left, to the right, in front or behind.

The children worked hard on their Christmas cards and calendars. We used our collage skills of cutting, sticking and overlapping and selected an appropriate colour for each season. Every year, you can look back at their 2023 calendar and see how much they’ve changed.

Finally, a big ‘THANK YOU’ for all your support and encouragement this term. Your kind cards, gifts and messages mean a lot to the team and we feel really lucky to be part of one big Blackwell family. Your child’s first term at ‘big’ school is complete and look at all we’ve achieved together. Children who are reading words and sentences, making new friends, singing in front of an audience and attending a school trip!

Wishing you all a Happy Christmas and a Wonderful New Year filled with fun, laughter and plenty of rest.

Mrs Webb and Team Red Class XXX

Red Class Friday Fanfare 09.12.22


Hello Red Class Families,

This week, we started our ‘Christmas’ topic. We looked at paintings, listened to stories, watched film clips and used role play props to understand the meaning of Christmas for Christians and even filmed our own version of ‘The Nativity’.

Another highlight of the week was our first school trip! The children were very excited to board the coach after a nice early lunch. ‘The Bear’ was a magical performance which captivated children and adults alike. We also enjoyed biscuits as a theatre trip treat!

Back in the classroom, in Phonics, we recapped digraphs ‘sh’, ‘ch’, ‘th’, ‘ng’ and ‘nk’ and read words and sentences with them. Practise these sounds at home and try finding digraphs in your reading books.

In Maths, we used objects, pictures and the number line to help our subtraction work. Our cheeky elf liked to jump back 1 on the number line to find 1 less. See if you can find 1 less to 10 at home.

We were bopping along to ‘The Happiest Christmas Tree’ in Write Dance. We used both hands to draw a Christmas tree complete with baubles, tinsel and a star. You can find the music here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqXzZH31Mbw

Next week, we have our Christmas show and Christmas dinner to look forward to as well as Party Day. Please send any last minute cards in by Monday as this is the night we turn the classroom into a Royal Mail sorting office.

Please look for any reading books at home and return them on Monday. We’ll be sending home two books next week in preparation for the holidays. New eBooks are available now. If you haven’t changed your library book for a while, please also send it into school so we can issue a new one for the holidays. Next week, we’ll send home PE kits and wellies.

Finally, remember your Christmas jumper for our Christmas shows on Monday and Tuesday.

Wishing all our Red Class families a wonderful weekend.

Mrs Webb and Team Red Class x

P.S. Thank you for all your contributions to our junk modelling bin. We’re now full to the brim. We’ll start collecting again after the holidays.

Red Class Friday Fanfare 02.12.22


Hello Red Class Families,

Today marked the end of our ‘Traditional Tales’ topic. Earlier in the week, the Nursery children visited Red Class to listen to our retell of ‘The Gingerbread Man’. We showed the Nursery children our story actions so they could copy too. We performed a Gingerbread Man song and showed our Nursery friends our display of Christmas cards. Mrs Allen then used her story spoons and some Nursery helpers to retell the story of ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’. Well done Team Red and Team Nursery for sharing your storytelling skills.

Our next topic is, ‘Christmas’, where we’ll listen to and retell the Christmas story and find out how and why people celebrate Christmas. On Monday, we’ll be filming our Early Years Nativity. We’ll also be taking photos of each child in their costume to make a photo gift for parents. As part of the performance some characters will wear face paint (just two little circles on their cheeks). If your child is sensitive to face paint, please email the office to let me know.

This week, in Phonics, we added ‘s’ to the end of words to mean more than one e.g. bags and cats. We recapped single graphemes and digraphs covered this half term and introduced ‘we’, ‘me’ and ‘be’ to our tricky word list.

In Maths, we used our hands, bucket scales and seesaw scales to weigh objects. We also tackled misconceptions. For example, all big things are heavy and small items are light. See if you can find examples at home e.g. a big teddy bear that feels lighter than you would expect and a heavy piece of jewellery. On the subject of jewellery, please leave bracelets and necklaces at home to keep them safe.

Today, we started tying knots at Forest School. The children practised stopper knots which will help them with their den building and craft activities. It was lovely to see lots of children showing their friends what to do and helping them to achieve the skill. This was our last Forest School session for this term as we’ll be using our Friday time to prepare for Christmas shows and events.

This afternoon, we sent home a book from the Book Trust. We have copies for our poorly little ones stored safely at school. If you ordered Christmas cards these should be with you too. Thank you to all our families for supporting Story Night. We shared Christmas songs and stories, played Christmas games (dance and freeze and pin the nose on Rudolph), shared gingerbread biscuits and even had time for a very special visitor. This marks the beginning of our Christmas celebrations in school with Christmas dinner, Christmas shows and Party Day all to follow in the next two weeks.

Finally, we introduced our ‘Acts of Kindness Advent Calendar’ this week. Each school day in December, Red Class will be given a mission to complete in school. So far, we’ve all smiled at a friend and tidied the boots on the balcony.

Wishing our poorly little ones a speedy recovery at home with lots of love and cuddles.

Best wishes,

Mrs Webb and Team Red Class x

Red Class Friday Fanfare 25.11.22


Hello Red Class Families,

Forest School was all about trust today. The children worked in pairs. One child closed their eyes and the other was the guide. We talked about the importance of talking to our friend to reassure them, holding hands and using walking feet to stay safe. Later on, the children used blindfolds and walked beside a rope with their partner. Mrs Lewis was busy making little rafts to float in the puddles and some children tried mud painting.

We’ve been working hard in Maths to recognise a number by talking about the arrangement. Is the number presented in dice or Numicon style? Can you see ‘five style’ and use your ‘power of five’? Spotting arrangements will help the children to quickly find a number of objects without needing to count one at a time. This will also help with our mental maths work, for example, recalling doubles and number bonds. We’re developing fluency and reasoning skills all the time.

During Phonics lessons, we practised ‘sh’, ‘th’, ‘ng’ and ‘nk’. I’m noticing some confident reading in Red Class with children reading words automatically. We want the children to feel confident enough to read automatically because they’ve rehearsed the same words, phrases and sentences over and over again. This is the reason we read our group practice book three times each week and then send it home as an eBook.

When reading at home, you might spend the first two days decoding the home reading book (real book) using sound talk (c-a-t) and blending (cat). The next two days aim for automatic reading. This might include echo reading where you read and your child copies. In the final few days, you might revisit the book and ask some questions to check your child’s understanding. This model replicates our group reading practice sessions.

As well as the home reading and eBooks, any games you play such as matching pairs or bingo also count as a daily read. Playing games with your tricky words, such as writing them on paper and splatting them with your hand, will count as a daily read. Try reading the following tricky words at home: to, into, go, no, he, she, of.

Next week, we will perform our retell of ‘The Gingerbread Man’ for the Nursery children. We’ll show them our printed gingerbread men cards and sing a counting song on the same theme. Our showcase will complete the ‘Traditional Tales’ topic before we move on to Christmas. We’ve already started practising for our Christmas show. You might have heard some lyrics or seen some strange hand shapes. All will be revealed at the Christmas show! I might also be planning a little audience participation. Remember to pack your dancing shoes. Talking of dance, I think a few of our Red Class friends will be dazzling in their dance shoes this weekend. Good luck if you’re performing!

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend.

Mrs Webb and Team Red Class xxx

Friday Fanfare 18.11.22


Hello Red Class Families,

Thank you for donating to Children in Need. In assembly, we listened to the Children in Need choirs from around the UK and, at the start of the day, we watched a CBeebies story about Pudsey Bear to explain why we were raising money and wearing colourful socks and headbands.

In Phonics lessons, we explored the grapheme/phoneme correspondences for ‘z’, ‘qu’ and ‘ch’ and started work on plurals, helping the children to understand how to read a word with ‘s’ at the end to mean more than one. We looked at ‘ch’ as two letters making one sound. We used a catchphrase to help us to remember e.g. ‘Chew the cherries children’.

In Write Dance we started ‘The Train’. This Write Dance is all about developing flowing, curved loops called garlands and arcades. As well as learning the train dance, we also experimented with loops in shaving foam and across chalk boards and today we created a Write dance train (see the picture below). If you would like to draw a Write Dance train at home, just click this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wkvM-baoqZI&t=383s

Maths focused on addition this week. We recapped 1 more before finding out how to add two single digit numbers using concrete apparatus. We also discovered the ‘power of 5’ or ‘5 style’ to support quick counting and recognition of numbers. So, when we look at the Fabacus, we find 5 beads (without counting), pull them across and carry on counting in 1s. We can also use the ‘power of 5’ to make numbers by seeing the number in parts, for example, 8 as 5 and 3. This will really support mental recall of number bonds and help the children as they move through school.

The workshop has been open for a couple of weeks now. This week, I’ve seen a cupcake maker, a straw factory, a bird box and a mouse house! It’s lovely to see such imagination. During the year, we will learn to shape, join and decorate in the workshop and our models will evolve! This area of the classroom allows the children to plan, design and test ideas and it’s always a popular area. Thank you to all our families for supplying junk. To limit the number of creations returning home, we’ve asked the children to select one model each week and this will be sent home on Fridays. This will allow the children to return to their model, evaluate their work and make changes during the week.

In PSHE, we looked at keeping safe in school. We talked about the importance of rules and following our class rules: good listening, following instructions, tidying, sharing and kind hands. By following our class rules, we can keep everyone safe. Later on, we talked about people who keep us safe at school. The children were able to name myself, Mrs Edney from club time, Mrs Moss and lots of other grown ups. We then remembered that we need to keep ourselves and each other safe too.

Finally, the children have been working hard in Wake and Shake. However, it was too difficult to pick leaders for the half term as they were all fantastic. So, to give more children the opportunity to lead, we’re changing every week!

Wishing everyone a lovely weekend.

Mrs Webb and Team Red Class xxx

Red Class Friday Fanfare 11.11.22


Hello Red Class Families,

To find out about Remembrance Day, we watched a short film and created prints of poppies in Art. Mrs Moss also spoke to the children and we all fell silent to remember.

We enjoyed a lovely morning at Forest School. We used our senses to ‘meet’ a new tree and looked for leaves and seeds to identify it. Later on, we made tree guardians to look after our favourite trees. If you visit Forest School, hopefully, you will still see them on the trunks of the trees. Play and Explore time in the forest involves climbing trees (not too far from the ground and with an adult watching), dragging branches, rolling logs and painting with mud. All in a day’s work in Red Class!

In Phonics, we concentrated on ‘j’, ‘v’, ‘x’ and ‘y’. We also introduced ‘his’ as a tricky word. Every day we read a challenge phrase. First, we sound talk and blend the words and then we read the words automatically. Try to do this in your reading at home as it will help with your pace and fluency. New eBooks are available from today.

In Maths, we compared a number of objects and used the language of more/greater and less/fewer. We looked at the relationship between more and less and started to recall 1 more and 1 less than a given number. Try finding and recalling 1 more and 1 less at home. If you’re quick and confident, see if you can solve some simple word problems (verbally) e.g. Mrs Webb made 8 cakes for a cake stall but her cat licked one of them. How many cakes did she have left to sell?

In PE, as part of dance, we chose action words for fireworks and then created firework motifs. We watched small groups as they performed their motifs and then used their ideas to make our work better.

Every Friday, we attend a celebration assembly where two children from each class receive a gold award certificate. During the week, we look for skills needed to be a good learner: resilience, problem solving, co-operation, communication and independence. Congratulations to our gold award winners so far. Who will it be next week?

Congratulations to our new Eco-Councillors. They will be helping Mrs James and all their friends to reduce, reuse and recycle. As well as jobs to help the school, we also have roles in class such as register monitor (this changes weekly) and, next week, we will choose 4 wake and shake leaders. Every day, the children help me with jobs to make the classroom run smoothly. A popular job is collecting the fruit peel! Well done, Team Red!

Wishing you all a lovely weekend with plenty of play and rest.

Best wishes,

Mrs Webb and Team Red Class

P.S. Get well soon and sending lots of love to our poorly little ones.